Anime Festival- New Dates
The new dates for the Anime Festival, taking place in New York City, are September 26th through the 28th. The Japanese pop culture convention, presented by the creators of the New York Comic Con, will be held at the Jacob Javits Center. "The New York Anime Festival apologizes over any confusion with our 2008 dates" show manager Lance Fensterman said. "The Jacob Javits Center is always in demand, and getting any dates in the building is difficult. Our new dates are the result of further discussion with the convention center, and we're staying put right here. We'll see you all September 26th!" Organized by Reed Exhibitions, the show will present the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world.
The Christian Bookstore in Crisis
Christian retail has changed tremendously over the last two decades. Even CBA, the former Christian Booksellers Association, has reported a drop from 3000 members to a mere 1813, since the mid-80’s. According to CBA, only 98 stores were added in 2007 compared to the 589 in 2006, and 437 in 2005, and stores continue to close. Yet CBA president Bill Anderson argues, "Are we seeing the death of Christian retail? Certainly the old way of doing Christian retail is dying. Christian retailers no longer have the corner on the market. The stores who are not willing to meet customers' expectations in terms of customer service, convenience, and core inventory are struggling." Independent Christian retailers find themselves appearing overpriced, and dependent on backlist and items with higher margins, such as gifts. Music, which once played an important supporting sales role, went digital, and music sales began dramatically shrinking. Ironic though, that this is happening now in the Christian book market, with Christian books never being more popular. "Blockbusters like The Prayer of Jabez and The Purpose Driven Life ended up doing more harm than good for Christian booksellers," says Lynn Garrett, senior religion editor at the book industry journal Publishers Weekly. "The general-interest bookstore chains, discounters, and 'big boxes' picked them up and sold huge quantities at deep discounts that Christian stores couldn't match. I think that contributed to Christians getting in the habit of buying their books in places other than Christian stores." To read more please visit: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/april/18.22.html.
PMA Challenges Amazon
It is Amazon that first provided small publishers with a level playing field by providing them an opportunity to sell their works to consumers, according to Terry Nathan, PMA executive director, and is now taking that away. PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association, has now added its voice to those against Amazon’s move to make publishers print their print-on-demand titles through its BookSurge subsidiary in order to sell directly through the Web site. Nathan said the policy “imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it. Without the opportunity to benefit from competitive pricing, small publishers risk, at best, an expensive and needless overhaul of their manufacturing process, and, at worst, the loss of their livelihood.”
BEA Introduces Best Selling Authors
This year BookExpo America has added a new feature to its schedule of events; a lunchtime interview of Dean Koontz and Michael Connelly by Carol Memmott, book critic of USA Today, followed by a short Q&A from the audience. ‘Meet the Bestsellers’ takes place on Sunday, June 1, noon-2 p.m., in Room 403AB, the last day of the Los Angeles show. Attendees will be offered a free box lunch. The authors will autograph books after the discussion.
Hyperion President Leaves to Join HarperCollins
Robert S. Miller, the founder-president of Hyperion, has left to join HarperCollins. At HarperCollins Miller will head a new imprint specializing in short, "popular-priced" books, non-returnable shipments to stores and lowered money to authors up front in exchange for increased profit sharing. In an ever-uncertain market for publishers, HarperCollins is looking to resolve two of the industry's major concerns: High author advances and the high rate of returned books. Hyperion, owned by the Walt Disney Company, announced that, effective immediately, Miller would be replaced by Ellen Archer, who was Hyperion's senior vice president and publisher.
Kindle Revolutionizes Tiny Electronic Market
Four Months after the Kindle was released by Amazon.com, the question still remains whether the e-book reader will revolutionize the book industry. However, publishers are already reporting that indeed the Kindle has helped, at least, the tiny electronic market. Publishing officials are reluctant to discuss sales figures, but say that they have seen double digit increases in e-book sales since the Kindle's release, including renewed interest in downloads on the Sony Reader. Sales for the most popular books are in the hundreds, comparable to the number for the Sony, which came out in 2006. Selling through Amazon.com for $399, Kindle is thinner than most paperbacks and weighs 10.3 ounces. It can hold some 200 books, along with newspapers, magazines and an entire dictionary. Additionally it is praised for its selection, offering more than 100,000 books, blogs and newspapers, as well as for the speed of delivery, less than a minute.
Borders for Sale
Borders is borrowing close to $42 million from the hedge fund which is its largest shareholder. The company is most likely putting itself up for sale or at least may sell divisions. It has suspended its dividend. The borrowed fund may buy parts of the company and is being granted warrants for Borders stock that represent about 20% of the company. "This will be a challenging year for retailers due to continued uncertainty in the economic environment" and that "the current credit environment has made many alternatives prohibitively expensive or entirely unavailable," said CEO George Jones. Meanwhile, Jones believes that its 2009 financial targets "remain attainable, yet within the current economic environment, we will be slowed in our progress and expect that we'll reach them later than originally planned. This plan includes the imminent launching of the company's website on its own, the spread of "new concept" stores that emphasize digital offerings, the display of more titles face out and a related reduction in inventory of 5%-10%, among other initiatives.
Farewell to Arthur C. Clark
Renowned science-fiction author Arthur C. Clark dies at age 90. Most famous for his "2001: A Space Odyssey, Clarke was a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future. However, he was regarded as far more than a science fiction writer. Credited with the concept of communication satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality, geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are now called Clarke orbits. Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, once said, I'm perfectly operational underwater". Clark has surely left his mark in history.
Another Best Seller For Oprah’s Book Club
“A New Earth”, Oprah’s latest book club pick, is already a mega-hit, even for her records. About 3.5 million copies of Eckhart Tolle's spiritual self-help guide have been shipped since Winfrey announced her selection several weeks ago. The book has topped the best-seller list on Amazon.com virtually from the moment Winfrey's choice was revealed, and it is the fastest-selling pick ever at Barnes & Noble Inc., according to a statement issued Thursday by Winfrey. Furthermore, it’s another hit book for by Penguin Group (USA), who sold millions this year with best-sellers such as Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" and Ken Follett's, also Winfrey-endorsed, "The Pillars of the Earth."
Another Hit for J.K Rowling
Amazon recently purchased one of only seven handmade copies of J.K Rowling’s, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, at an auction held by Sotheby’s in London. The purchase price was Ł1,950,000, which Rowling is donating the proceeds to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe. The book is completely handwritten by Rowling, bound in brown Moroccan leather, and contains five wizarding fairy tales, referenced in the last book of the Harry Potter series.
Stinehour Press to Close
One of the country’s best known independent printers of high-end illustrated books, The Stinehour Press, will shut down by the end spring. CEO Warren Bingham, who acquired the company in 2002 from the Stinehour family, recently announced plans to close the printer. Bingham explained that after an initial infusion of funds helped to turn around the press, continued pricing pressure from foreign manufacturers made it impossible to move forward without new capital that would enable Stinehour to upgrade its equipment. Bingham said he has had discussions with possible buyers over the last several years and while some deals came close, “they never quite came through.” Founded in 1952, Stinehour combined quality book design with production techniques that earned it more than 50 awards over the last couple of years.” He hasn’t given up hope for a last minute reprieve. “Let’s hope this cat has nine lives and that it’s only used eight,” Bingham said.
Text Messaging and Book Buying
Amazon does it again. The company’s new TextBuyIt allows customers to find and buy books via their mobile phones. It puts a whole new meaning to shopping on the go. It works by letting a person send a text message to “AMAZON” (262966) with the title or ISBN of the book she or he wants to purchase. Amazon sends a response confirming the book and stating its price. Then the company sends a text telling the customer to reply with a “1” to purchase the book. Amazon then calls the customer with the final details and asks the customer to confirm or cancel the purchase. Once a customer has an Amazon account and sets up TextBuyIt, the process is relatively easy to use.